Chicken feed is far from the only thing chickens eat.
Your birdies are omnivores and take advantage of any convenient food source they can find.
The rodents who so often bother your chicken coops are no exception!
Chickens will kill and eat mice if they come across them during the day. But if a family of mice has moved into your coop, don’t rely on your birds to take care of them. Even baby mice can do a lot of damage to your chickens’ environment, and they bring disease with them too.
Do you have a mouse problem?
Are you worried about the impact on your chickens’ health if they eat mice?
Keep reading, and we’ll answer these questions and more for you!
Is It Safe for Chickens to Eat Mice?
It’s common knowledge among chicken farmers that chickens aren’t exactly picky eaters.
But are mice a good meal for birds?
The answer may surprise you:
It is generally safe and sometimes even beneficial for your chickens to eat mice, provided the rodent hasn’t been infected with any diseases.
There isn’t exactly any way for you to verify the mice hanging around your chickens aren’t carrying disease, though.
Don’t be too worried about your birds’ eating mice.
The goal is to get rid of the mice as quickly as possible, and whatever your birds eliminate makes the job easier for you.
Be on the lookout for signs of illness if your bird does eat a mouse, just to be safe.
In the end, you must realize mice wreak all kinds of havoc in chicken coops.
If your chickens don’t get rid of them, you’ll have to do the work yourself.
Why Mice Are Such a Nuisance in Your Coop
When a family of mice takes shelter in your coop, they’re looking for food, warmth, and safety from predators.
So, you might be tempted to leave the mice alone if they aren’t at risk of hurting your birds.
But the truth is, even a tiny mouse population is bad for your farm.
Adult mice are likely to gnaw their way into bags of chicken feed and, depending on the material you use, potentially even the floor of your coop.
House mice will be easy for your chickens to take care of, and they probably won’t do much harm in your coop.
But larger mice start to create problems for you, and they are harder for your chickens to take care of because they have to be ripped apart to fit in your birds’ beaks.
It’s not a pleasant image, I know!
Another concern comes if there is a diseased mouse in with your chickens.
If your chicken were to ingest one, they would get sick.
Mice also sometimes carry bugs like ticks and fleas into your coop, which are harmful to your birds.
These bugs and the mice are especially dangerous to any vulnerable baby chicks in your care.
To protect your birds and their food, it’s best to take care of the invasion of mice before it gets out of hand.
How Do You Know You Have a Mouse Problem?
You’ll notice a handful of signs if rodents are getting into your coop.
For one thing, they are likely to steal your chickens’ food at night.
You’ll notice unusual amounts of food being eaten from the feeder or holes being chewed into your grain bags.
This is just one possibility.
You might also walk into your coop one day to find a dead mouse your chickens killed during the night.
It’s also not uncommon to find chew marks in your grain scoops or feeders if they aren’t made from metal.
If you notice any of these signs, take all the steps below to get rid of the mice.
They’re a lot easier to manage if you get started right away.
The Wrong Way To Get Rid Of Rodents In A Chicken Coop
You’ll inevitably see rodents who want to move in with your chickens from time to time.
Before we consider what steps to take in evicting them, let’s think about what NOT to do.
NEVER use rat poison or any other kind of poison bait in or around your chicken coop.
If it’s poisonous to rodents, it isn’t safe for your chickens or children.
There are plenty of other methods to get rid of mice or larger rodents invading your chicken coop without endangering your birds or anyone else.
What Are Some Good Measures Against Rodents With Chickens?
Here are some relatively easy steps to take when you find evidence of rodents in your coop:
- Find and repair any holes or gaps in your coop and fence
- Clean up your chicken coop
- Keep your chicken feed in hard plastic or metal containers
- Use natural rodent repellent
One of the first steps is always to block off whatever opening the rodents are coming through.
If the mice can’t get into your coop at night, they can’t eat your chicken feed and chew up your materials.
Walk the length of your fence and check the outside of your chicken coop.
Pay special attention closer to the ground.
This is where the mice are most likely getting in.
Cleaning up your chicken coop may be difficult when you’re struggling with mice because rodents most often invade during winter.
If it’s too cold for you to do a deep clean, settle for cleaning out the nesting boxes and taking care of any problem areas inside the coop.
Nesting boxes look nice and homey to small rodents, so clean these out more frequently than usual.
Keep your bags of chicken feed inside a container made from a durable material.
This is extremely important because food is a big part of your coop’s appeal to rodents.
The final step is to use a natural deterrent against rodents.
Many chicken owners recommend mint sprays or leaves around your coop to repel mice.
This is effective and perfectly safe because mint leaves do not harm your chickens if they ingest them.
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